Archive for the ‘Tourism’ Category

Istanbul | Turkey

November 16, 2009

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

When mention about Istanbul, image of Aya Soyfa, Blue Mosque will come into mind and also all those fairy tail and love stories about Constantinople will become alive. Istanbul is a great place to be and among world favorite travel destination. You can see Europe and Asia in one place living in harmony here. Actually it is not so easy for me to reach here. There were so many procedure to follow and in fact I get the approval the very last minute before the day I depart for istanbul from Kuala Lumpur.

To cut the story short, it was a long flight from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul on 7th November 2009 at 1 am in the early morning our flight Boeng 777 MH30 take off to Istanbul, it is a direct flight, non stop from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul which take us approximately 11 hours to get there. Alhamdulillah the journey was very smooth and the hospitality of MAS crew members on board make the long haul journey seem shorter. By 7:45am local time we reach Hilton Istanbul not far away from Taksim Square. I’ve a great experience while our vehicle passing through Galata Bridge and watching magnificent mosque along the journey really get me excited.

There were few minor problem when registering for our room at the hotel and thanks to Malaysian Embassy in Turkey, the problem solve quickly and before 9:00 am I’ve already got my room key no 092. We have a brief Media briefing by Ministry of Foreign Affair regarding of coverage of our Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for the COMCEC Economic Meeting at Four Seasons Hotel Bosphorus Istanbul. After that we, a group of eleven local media are eager to tour some part of Istanbul because the very next day when our Deputy Prime Minister arrive, we don’t have so much free time on our hand.

By 2:05pm local Istanbul time we are in the compound of Aya Sofya, it was really big and with my kit lens on my camera won’t fit the grandeur structure of the Aya Sofya. Some of media members wanted to visit Grand Bazaar and for me I’m not interested to shopping but more interested for photo shooting. So we split and will meet at this area of Aya Sofya in two hours time. I was walking alone without any media members with me, from one place to another place, this area called Sultanahmet where a lot of major historical site are within a walking distance, Aya Sofya, Topkapi Museum and Blue Mosque. A lot of people here and from what I can say it is really a photographers haven. Among the place that I really want to visit is Aya Sofya, I’ve to pay 20 Lira to get here or about MYR50 but it really worth the visit since I don’t know when I will be coming here again so the amount is nothing much compare with the experience.

I wish I’ve a wide angle lens, wider than my kit lens 18-70mm, if you guys planning to visit Aya Sofya, please make sure you get a super wide lens, something like 10-20mm or 11-16mm for DX Nikon camera but if you have FX camera like D3 or D700, 24-70 mm will do just fine. It is really big, the dome is massive with great decoration, islamic and also with christian motif. Fast lens really help here since it was dimly lit and this place is pack with tourist. Since I’m alone here I don’t have my personal picture here, pity me. I did not spend much time here simply because I’m running out of time and have few other place to visit.

My next stop is Blue Mosque just a minute of walking distance from Aya Sofya, this is a mosque so you don’t need to pay anything to get inside but you need to take your shoes off and put it in the plastic bag that was made available in the entrance of the Blue Mosque. Once again super wide angle lens really help here and I just have to satisfied with my kit lens. I really enjoy shooting here inside and outside of Blue Mosque and if I’ve more time I’ll definitely looking for much higher place to shoot Blue Mosque from the distance and get the Bosphorus in the frame as well together with the Blue Mosque. By 6:00pm, we finish our tour and get back to our hotel.

About the tram picture and people walking on the street, that was taken in Taksim and the street is famously known as Istiklal Caddesi and according to wikipedia, the street is approximately 3 km long but I did not walk the whole street just part of it because the time constrain. People here are very camera friendly, they really doesn’t bother much about people taking their picture, this street is full of tourist, you might not feel like you were walking on the Turkey street but more like walking in the European country. There were shops on the left and right side of the street, only tram allowed to pass through this street, it is for pedestrian but cars only allowed to pass through to get to the other side of the road. If you guys have plan to visit Istanbul, please make sure you spend a day here in the Istiklal Avenue and have fun watching people going through their lives here, this is really busy street with people from all walk of life and from all over the world.

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Photographic Expedition | Belum – Temengggor

October 28, 2009

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

Photo above taken during Belum – Temenggor Photographic Exspedition on 23rd to 25th October 2009 organize by Emkay and Institute Perak Darul Ridzuan. Thanks a lot to Azrul Affandi from Beritah Harian through Photoskool for inviting me to this event, I really have so much fun there.

Langkawi

June 13, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

I’m not a big fan of Langkawi, if not because of my last minute assignment I would not be here. Langkawi is a very beautiful island with white sandy beach and world class resort available here. Sitting next to me during my flight from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi is a couple from Middle East country, I don’t know which country exactly but judging from their dress, they must be come from rich oil country and I think they are newly wedd couple and I saw  a large group  Arab people in the plane also, they have a lot of money to spent and Langkawi is good for them, it is less noise and polluted compared to Kuala Lumpur, heavy with maddening traffic.

The other thing that I think Langkawi is good at is because Free Duty status, women like it, they like to go shopping here and Langkawi also favorite holiday destination among local people here in Malaysia, some come through the air and I think most people travel by the sea, I mean with boat from Kuala Perlis or Kuala Kedah. Photographer like me doesn’t enjoy much of what Langkawi has to offer, I’m not into nature photography business, I’m more into human, I like portraiture and I think, Langkawi doesn’t give me much option. If you are into nature and landscape photography, then Langkawi is your playing field with beautiful sunset and sunrise and also fantastic white sandy beach for you to explore.

Luckily my assignment wasn’t that boring, I got a chance to follow Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin during his visit to Kilim Geoforest Park, it was a an experience for me and a group of another local media, we were provided with two boats to cover our DPM and the view along the river is fantastic, we can get really close to the eagle there but unfortunately during our visit there was not many eagle flying around, maybe they were too scared of out boats, few boat actually following our DPM.

From Kuah, it will take you less than half an hour to get here to Kilim Geoforest Park, I’m really sorry, I was a bit rush and forget to ask about the cost of the package, I mean island hopping package and also a trip to “Eagle Feeding” at Kilim river. I see a lot of tourist keep on coming ad go at Kilim jetty, from their face I think they really enjoy their trip, maybe they come from a place where they have never seen   Mangrove Forest. Our trip along the river plus small island hopping took us almost an hour and the last stop still at Kilim river where we have our lunch ready and the food was fantastic, well maybe because of the location, we have our lunch by the river, the sound of the forest really a music to our ears and really help us enjoy our food.

SPB Agong | Daulat Tuanku

June 7, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

I like to cover this assignment, “Hari Keputeraan Agong” or King Birthday only held once a year here at Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur usually on the very first Saturday in the month of June. Another special occasion that took place here is Royal Flag Bearing Procession in conjunction with His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah (The King) Birthday Celebration. Very colorful event and what I like most about covering this historical event is that “The Man In Uniform” very nice to look at and will be a great photography subject. Malaysia is a very unique country, our King keep on changing every five years. You can get that information somewhere, it’s our constitution.

As usual this event took place on the early morning. Our King arrive at 8:00 am sharp, so we photographers must be here one hour earlier to secure our position. It is very crucial to get a very good vantage point. Even though we are official photographers or  press photographers, we are not provided with a special place. Usually they, the organizer will have a steps for us to position ourselves. This year there were none, we just like everybody else, the public, this is open place, we can choose our angle wherever we want but this is not good for us because we have to compete with the public, we are here to do our job, we are not here for a holiday so we should be provided with a better angle from the rest of the public because our picture will be  seen across the world so we need to show the best from our country and for our country.

Nevertheless, I still get a  good angle, next to me is Ahmad Yusni from EPA and next to him is Zainal ABD Halim from Reuters, so I’m in a very good company, three of us are using 300mm lens as our primary lens because the ceremony took place  a bit far across the field. This special event only last for one hour, by 9:00 am our King will leave this place and proceed to National Palace where another event will took place, it was very busy day for our King during his Birthday as a King. I took a lot of photos and feel free to visit my flickr for more pictures.

Pakistan | Shattered Dream

June 4, 2009
Pakistan | Shattered Dream

Pakistan | Shattered Dream

I’ve always wanted to visit Pakistan, a beautiful country but at the same time also a complicated country, always have something coming out from this country. I don’t want to make a long story, just to cut the story short, my dream to visit Pakistan is just a dream, I don’t get the Visa, after numerous times to Pakistan Embassy here in Kuala Lumpur, they just told me to wait, they still need to get an approval from Islamabad. My flight to Karachi is on the 11th this month but unfortunately my ticket is useless. Few years back I made a contact with my flickr friend at Pakistan, mostly from Lahore, I tell them where I want to go and when I will come, we discuss many things especially on the interest of photography and some of them did offer me to stay with them.

I just really don’t understand why Pakistan Embassy need an invitation letter from somebody in Pakistan to invite me there. I’m not on Business visit, just as a tourist, what harm can I do, I know the situation there in Pakistan is not welcoming or encouraging. There were conflict going on there. Suicide bombing almost everywhere and happen randomly, blame it on Taliban even though as a foreigner I don’t get the crystal view about what really happening there. Somehow I feel disappointed, why can’t a person from a muslim country pay a visit to each other, aren’t we brother?

Uruguay | Montevideo

May 28, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

Santiago | Chile | My Story

May 20, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

I guess if I keep on abandoning my blog, nobody would ever visit my blog again, I’m really sorry about my long absence here, since got back from Uruguay I’ve a lot of job to do, my journey for oversea trip is an official assignment for the government of Malaysia, I was required to document Malaysia King State visit there with my camera, when we came back home in Malaysia, we have to compile all the pictures that were taken during the official visit and later on make an album for our King, so that’s why I was a little bit busy since got back from my trip, there were thousand of pictures need to be selected, edited nad printed before we hand over the album to the palace.

My journey from Madrid took us more than thirteen hours of flight times, we have to endure long journey with Iberia Airline, it is not a business class for me but just economy class, very long and boring journey, seated next to me is an older man, I try to have a chat with him but it seem that he is not good at english, most of South American people don’t speak english, they speak Spanish, from the shirt that he wore I see “Columbia”, I guess this man must be from Columbia, from his face I guess he is more than sixty years old.

Guys, I’m really sorry about my bad english and about my bad grammar, this is the only way I can share my experience with most of you guys. So what do I do  to kill my time, sleeping, what else but it was not comfortable to sleep and about the food, I can only eat vegetable and fruits, I’m a Muslim so we can’t eat meat there which is not processed according to our religious, I’m not saying that the food is not good to be eaten but as Muslim there is certain way to prepare our meal especially those with meat, for an example we can eat KFC in our country Malaysia but we can’t eat KFC in non islamic country, have you heard about HALAL food, I think you can check or goggle about HALAL food somewhere.

Enough about food, we reach Santiago International Airport in time, local Santiago time 07:50am in the morning, twelve hours different from our home country Malaysia, I was  surprise that when we get to the luggage carousel to get our belonging we were “welcome” by a dogs, if I were not mistaken there were three of them, this is the first time I see a dog at the luggage carousel. They are busy sniffing our bag maybe looking for something “illegal” that we brought in to their country, luckily there was none, we are clear but not so clear, we still have to go through another scan machine to check whether we have brought in any meat product, a plant or anything that was prohibited to enter this country, I see some of our friends there have to open their bag, and take out something that are not allowed to be taken out from this security check. To cut the story short, my bag was clear, I only bring some fast food, like noodle in the packet and that was ok…

We were stranded in the airport close to an hour just to clear our belonging, there are plenty of bag, you would be surprise if I tell you here, most of the things are a gift in a box from our King, it was to be given here in Chile and Uruguay later on and there are also few boxes that contain food from our country, it is hard to get HALAL food here, so this is our ration while we are here in Chile.

After everything was clear, we head to our hotel in Santiago, we stay at Marriott hotel approximately thirty minutes from the airport. Will continue later, just bear with me… 🙂

Excuse Me | I Was Approach by Two Policeman

May 7, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

This is my first time I set my foot in London, it was among my favorite destination but this is not my destination, I’ve wrote previously that I was in London because flight transit, from Heathrow airport I take Heathrow Connect to Paddington Station in Central London and from there we walk around, unfortunately the weather wasn’t good on that day, it was raining and very hard to find a shelter there. To cut the story short after we are tired of walking around not too far away from Paddington Station, I get back to the station and take few pictures in front of the entrance like the one you see above and later on I was approach by two policeman with a dog, you can see the police in the picture above, those in green.

When they approach me, one of the police officer ask me, whether I’m a tourist, yes I said, I’m a tourist and he asked me thet he want to look at what I’m photographing, so I show them my camera LCD, I asked them, is it ok with my picture, do I need to delete them, can I keep my picture, after he browse through my picture through LCD, he said ok, there is no problem, I can keep my picture after he take my name and see my passport and I’m free to go, no question asked later. Those police officer does not touch my camera, I was holding my camera and showed them the picture that I’ve take, I know why those two police officer come after me, there was a case not too long ago where one of the subway get bombed, so they need to know what I’m doing, whether I’m planning something with my picture or not and I’ve read somewhere that there was a story where London Police officer delete a picture from a tourist who take a shot of public transport in London. I personally think they have no right deleting someone else picture, if there was a case, it should be brought to the court and if the pictures being deleted, there was no case, no evidence, that was my personal point of view.

One thing that I want to let you all know is that, the police officer that approach me does not harasses me, he is very polite, does not push me around, and he treat me well, after they write my name on his notebook, he keep me free, no question asked. Everybody will have a different experience with London police, and that is my experience.

Kuala Lumpur | I’m Back

May 3, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

Syukur Alhamdulillah, lebih kurang jam 6:17am waktu tempatan 1 May ( saya terbang dari Buenos Aires 29 April 8:20pm mlm waktu Buenos Aires ), waktu Malaysia pesawat MAS yang membawa saya terbang jauh dari Buenos Aires Argentina selamat mendarat di Lapanagn Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur, lancar sekali pendaratannya, disambut dengan senyuman oleh para penumpang sekalian. Perjalanan kami berhenti di dua tempat di Afrika selatan iaitu di Cape Town dan di Johannesburg. Dari Buenos Aires ke Cape Town mengambil masa 7 jam dan dari Cape Town ke Johannesburg ke mengambil masa lebih kurang sejam lebih.

Sempat jugak saya keluar dari pesawat masa stopover yang cuma sejam lamanya, bila lagikan, dapat jalan-jalan di airport pun cukuplah walaupun tak dapat keluar. Kemudian dari Johannesburg ke Kuala Lumpur mengambil masa 9 jam 25 min, lebih kurang macam tu la, tapi perjalanan mungkin mengambil masa yang lebih lama kalau perjalanan dari Kuala Lumpur ke Johannesburg pasal kita mengikut arah bumi berputar, mungkin you faham maksud saya.

Panjang lagi kalau nak cerita, masih lagi kepenatan dan badan masih lagi sakit-sakit pasal tak biasa berjalan jauh dan pasal tak biasa duduk berjam-jam dalam pesawat, bagi mereka yang dah kerap ke luar negara, rasanya dah takde apa dah, dah biasa, macam naik bas ekspress jer agaknya, bagi saya yang pertama kali ke destinasi yang agak jauh ni memang terasa sangat keletihannya. IsyaAllah ada masa dan kesempatan saya akan sambug lagi…

Kuala Lumpur | London

April 18, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

Syukur Alhamdulillah, akhirnya setelah 12 jam dan 20 minit dalam penerbangan saya telah selamat sampai ke Heathrow Airport London tepat jam 5:30am waktu London, masih blur-blur lagi waktu sampai di sini, maklumlah first time sampai kat sini, orang kampung sampai di Kota Raya London, semua benda nampak menarik dipandang, memang sibuk di Heathrow ni, pelbagai jenis manusia yang boleh kita jumpa di sini. Saya bukannya keseorangan di sini tapi dengan sekumpulan Media yang bertugas atas urusan rasmi untuk negara tercinta. Beban yang dipikul memang berat, tapi insyaAllah akan dilaksanakan sebaik mungkin.

Lama sebenarnya kami transit di Heathrow ni, lebih kurang 12 jam, bukan takde flight line tapi kami terpaksa menunggu ketibaan sebahagian lagi delegasi dari Malaysia di sini, sebelum meneruskan perjalanan ke Kota Santiago di Chile. Oleh kerana masa menunggu yang amat panjang, kami mengambil keputusan untuk keluar mengambil angin sebentar di Kota London, pilihan terbaik kami ialah dengan menggunakan train ataupun lebih dikenali dengan “tube” di sini. Kami mengunakan “Heathrow Connect” dari airport untuk ke Central London, perjalanan mengambil masa lebih kurang 25 min untuk sampai ke Paddington Station di Central London dengan tambang £6.90 untuk one way ataupun £13.80 untuk return ticket balik ke Airport, kami membeli return ticket kerana kami hanya akan keluar sebentar sahaja sebelum kembali ke airport dan meneruskan perjalanan ke Madrid dan seterusnya ke Santiago Chile.

Kami difahamkan perjalanan akan mengambil masa lebih kurang 2 jam ke Madrid Spain dan 13 jam 30 min dari Madrid ke Santiago Chile, perjalanan yang amat panjang dan cukup memenatkan, tambahan pula dengan Time Zone yang berbeza-beza, sedikit sebanyak memeningkan kepala. Perbezaan waktu di Chile dan Malaysia adalah 12 jam, senang nak kira, kalau di Malaysia 8 pagi di Santiago Chile 8 malam. InsyaAllah ada masa saya sambung lagi.